If there was one man who was unfazed by the lockdown, it was Ray Mears.
The father of British bushcraft welcomed the opportunity so many have taken to get back to nature.
And that – a reconnection with the natural world – will be the subject of his next tour. Simply titled We Are Nature – An Invitation To Reconnect With The Natural World, Mears will be on the road from February next year. It takes place at Shrewsbury’s Theater Severn on February 22 and Birmingham Town Hall on March 23.
Mears will take audiences on a journey that will explain how to make the most of our environment by developing and more fully utilizing our extraordinary natural senses of sight, hearing, smell and taste, while raising awareness of the vast wealth of the natural world.
Using both demonstration and audience participation, Ray will share knowledge that until now has only been available to students in his Woodlore classes – many of whom have described as “life-changing” and “like if the blinders of modern life had been removed”, allowing them to experience the natural world in all its beauty for the very first time.
In a relaxed and approachable style, Ray will entertain the audience with a fascinating, inspiring and educational show. He will teach them to understand what it means to “see” with their ears and “hear” with their eyes. He will also discuss the methods and equipment he uses when tracking rare wildlife for television. He will talk about the future, taking the audience on a fascinating exploration of advanced night vision technology and its future benefits – is it really possible to see in the dark?
“It’s about exploring our inherited sensory awareness and enhancing it,” he says.
“Modern life does not encourage us to use our abilities, it does the opposite. When you go to the supermarket, everything is arranged in a definite order. If you are looking for a bargain, it is marked with a day-glo sticker In nature is the opposite.
“The concept is: I want people to love nature. The more we can see in nature, the more we will appreciate it. Right now, even if we go to the countryside, the majority of people don’t see as as much as they can.
Mears is well positioned to effect change. He has been teaching bushcraft for almost 40 years, professionally. Of all the things he teaches, the one transformative skill is the one he will teach on tour. By sharing the secrets of the natural world, he hopes to encourage people to question themselves more, to question their role in nature, and to care more about nature.
“Recently, we have learned to value our green spaces more than ever. We need the wilderness as much as the wilderness needs us, it’s time to stop being frustrated with indiscriminate crimes against nature and take action to prevent them. Improved powers of observation can make a huge difference, protecting the lives of wild creatures that are unable to speak for themselves.
Over the years Ray has become a successful author, photographer, program maker, broadcaster and the founder of Woodlore, the UK’s oldest school of bushcraft and Wilderness tracking. Recognized worldwide as a leading authority on bushcraft and survival, Ray has spent his life traveling the world, communing with nature, observing animal behavior and researching primitive life skills.
He’s a man who walks more than he talks, he’s featured and featured in countless TV shows and series – in 2005 he survived a helicopter crash while filming in the mountains of Wyoming and in 2010 he assisted Northumbria Police, tracking down a murderer during Britain’s war. biggest manhunt.
His television series include Wild China, Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears, Tracks, World of Survival and Money Can’t Buy with Ewan McGregor, and The Real Heroes of Telemark, all of which inspired generations of children to their grandparents.
“The tour comes at an interesting time. We are suffering the effects of Covid and during this time people have learned more about the value of green spaces.
“It’s not just the Covid. We live in a time where we identify that our current lifestyle makes the planet toxic for life. We learn how connected and interdependent we are with nature.
“Being in the woods for a while is good for people. It’s good for us and even short-term exposure to nature can have a long-lasting effect. I don’t think we should be surprised. For 2.5 million years we have lived side by side with nature. In terms of our evolutionary way of life, in the blink of an eye, we withdrew from the natural world. We are children of nature bound by its rules.
“People are realizing the reality. I still think politicians have a long way to go. I also don’t think the protesters are handling the protest properly. Insulate has alienated a lot of people. if they had perhaps taken a different path, they might have gained friends and received more support. People could have done what they were told in a way that might have surprised the government.
“What irritates me are politicians who talk about saving the planet. The planet is not a threat. When we are not here, this planet will continue to exist. It does not care about us. What we are doing is making the planet toxic for life”… We are creating a pressure cooker by polluting the air, the rivers, the sea. We are reducing the diversity of life on earth. We are destroying the planet’s ability to sustain life as we know it.”
There is hope, however, albeit slim.
“Finally, at Cop26, I heard the Chinese use the term ‘an existential threat’. It is what it is. It is very serious. This tour is not necessarily about that. I want teach people that we can enjoy nature. Maybe we can make the world a better place. We should pass on an environment.
“There were 120 world leaders who went to COP26. They are not there because they want to be there. Their constituents expected them to see this. Change will be driven by the people. I hopes it will be driven by the peoples of the world in response to wisdom rather than fear.
“I suspect we won’t get proper change until the world population is scared. What I think is interesting is that totalitarian states weren’t represented, which is an enduring shame. President Putin should be ashamed. I think COP26 was a massive victory for democracy. Democratic nations are trying to change things. We can be sure that very serious conversations took place.
“Over time, these problems will get worse until we solve them. I predict that totalitarian states will not survive these problems. If they come to rule the world, the world will end. Otherwise, the peoples of these nations will arise and these states will come to an end.
Ray’s speech is anything but ‘preacher’. Informed, intelligent and concerned with leading people through the presentation of facts, he is a divine educator. It doesn’t wiggle its fingers and tell people what to do, rather it presents options and facts so people become more aware of the consequences of their actions.
“I don’t like telling people what to think or what to believe. I like to stand on the side of common sense. It’s not left wing or right wing. I believe in dialogue and people. I believe in communication.
“Tours are about communication and sharing, having fun. It’s like a conversation at the campsite. We will have a lot of fun on this tour. I will involve the public and hope they leave the theaters and will become better observers so that they appreciate nature more.I want to change people’s situational awareness.
This has been Ray’s lifelong mission. He fell in love with the countryside as a child and that connection runs deep.
“I just fell in love with being in nature. Tracking was where it all started, from tracking foxes. I wanted to know what you could eat in the countryside when I was very young. I found a book with photographs from the early 1970s with few color pages.
“It was a good book. I went out and found a plant and decided it was edible and it was wonderful and I never looked back. I remember seeing two young jays coming out of the nest and I was captivated. I remember going to Longleat and wanted to see the rhino. I remember looking in awe at these incredible creatures.
“Now, as an adult, I can tell you about the tracking of these animals and their intimate knowledge and fear. I have walked among them and seen the carcasses where poachers have brutally murdered them for their horns. This first experience had a profound impact on me.
“I have a lot of different hats and I like that. It means life is interesting. We have 80 summers on earth and that’s not a lot at all. It’s nature’s greatest gift. You you will be born and you will die. What you do in the middle is up to you. I encourage people to follow their dreams. Don’t wish your life away. Go ahead and do it.
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